Play It Again, Staples

After years of use, Staples’ grand piano is kaput.  There are big cracks in the soundboard, and experts say it’s not worth fixing.

So — with Board of Ed funding about as plausible as Billy Joel donating one of his extras — the Staples Music Parents Association is trying to raise $30,000 to replace it.

Alice Lipson (front), with Fran Southworth and Dave DeVoll of the Staples Music Parents Association, says a fond farewell to her long-serving piano.

The new piano is a Yamaha C3 grand — identical to the present one.  The SMPA hopes to complete fundraising this month, so they can present the gift at the Orphenians’ 50th anniversary concert June 6.

That date marks another milestone:  the final concert for choral director Alice Lipson.  She’s retiring after 35 years in the Westport schools.

Alice is very familiar with the current piano.  It’s used for every Staples concert — including Candelights — and many Players productions too.  It’s an integral part of the Westport arts scene, and all music education.

The Staples Music Parents Association usually focuses on smaller projects:  providing food for musicians in between Candlelight performances; buying a sign to announce upcoming concerts; collecting used instruments for Bridgeport schools.

This is a grander scale.  But it’s time for a new grand piano at Staples, and time for any Westporter who ever enjoyed a concert or play there to pay it forward.

(Tax-deductible checks can be made out to “Staples Music Parents Association,” with “New Piano” on the memo line, and sent to:  Staples MPA, Box 223, Westport, CT 06881-0223.  For more information click here; call 203-226-9750, or email

2 responses to “Play It Again, Staples

  1. Too bad Steinway & Sons on the Post Road wouldn’t donate a new piano!

  2. So the rumors are true!? Sad to see Mrs Lipson go as she was the reason many of us alumni have come back year after year (…after year after year… I’m up to 11) to join in the celebration that is Candlelight. Even former students who she may or may not have kicked out of class a couple times felt as if they were part of her extended family. All the best to her and her family in the future. She will be missed!

    Candlelight just won’t be the same without her.